Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pineapple Mango Salsa

I think I might have an overload of Christmas information to share now that it's all over.  I tried to keep a lot of what I had going on under wraps so as to not spoil the surprise.  I thought that making a lot of homemade gifts this year would serve my pocket well.  I was pretty wrong about that.  I think the cost was probably about the same as it's been most years, and I spent a LOT of time working on everything.  I don't think I would change that though.  I like to think that anyone that I gave a homemade gift to, and everyone on my list got at least one, could feel the thought and love that went into making it.

One of my favorite things I made this past summer was a new recipe I came up with for salsa.  I thought it was sort of funny to give a little bit of summer for Christmas.  In New England it seems to be Summer one day, and snowing the next.  but as I have mentioned before, I absolutely love New England.  I was greeted with some shocked reactions at this gift.  "You MADE that?"  I just don't think it's a very commonly homemade item, at least not around here.  It's pretty simple to make as long as you like using your cutting board.

Pineapple Mango Salsa

12 plum tomatoes
1 yellow onion
1 mango
1 pineapple
2 jalapeno peppers
handful of fresh cilantro
1/2c apple cider vinegar

Place a large bowl by your cutting board. Cut the vine ends off of the tomatoes and then chop them roughly into 1/4 inch cubes, into your large bowl they go.  Peel and chop your onion, add to bowl.

I find the best way to work with mango is to cut the fruit away from the seed and then peel.  Try to get as much as possible off and then the rind will come off pretty easily with a paring knife.  chop, and toss into the bowl.

Don't be scared of your fresh pineapple.  Slice the top off, and the bottom. and then slide your sharp knife down the sides of the fruit to get the rind off.  Once you get rid of all the scary pointy things you are home free.  Cut around the center core to get the usable parts, discard everything else.  Chop your pineapple and put into the bowl.

When working with your jalapeno you may want to wear gloves, as the sting stays around for a while, so if you touch your mouth or eyes afterwards you will regret it.  Cut the ends off and slice in half.  Next, if you like mild salsa, which I do, scoop the seeds and white ribs out of the pepper and discard.  If you like it hotter you can leave these spicy parts in, finely chop, and add to the bowl.

For the cilantro, I take off the thick stems and then gather the leaves into a pile and chop it up. Add it to the bowl.  Mix all of your ingredients and then pour the vinegar over the top.  Mix once more, and refrigerate.  

Since I was making this to give as gifts I made a LOT of it.  But the recipe above will give you plenty for a small crowd.

After refrigerating overnight, I scooped the salsa into some jars I had bought (and washed of course).

The clear jars provide a great view of the lovely freshness inside.

I downloaded a free label template here

I just wrote on them by hand and taped them to the top of the jars.

In my gift bags I included a Ziploc bag of tortilla chips

It might seem kind of silly, but I consider not including the chips the equivalent of giving a child a toy that requires batteries, without including the batteries.  It's no fun if you can't use it right away!

Enjoy a little summer in your winter, or remember this recipe when the weather turns warm again, I don't think you will regret it.


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